Feb 25, 2012

"Born to be Hypocrites"

The title above refers to a dawning social science, which explores the psychological roots of our moral identities. Rising star Jonathan Haidt's 2008 talk, "The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives" (video below) has over 1,000,000 views and "pinpoints the moral values liberals and conservatives tend to honor most." His book, "The Righteous Mind" is due out March 13.

Haidt got my attention via a recent Bill Moyers segment, "Jonathan Haidt Explains Our Contentious Culture." Haidt's social psych research at the University of Virginia found "Liberals misunderstand Conservatives more than the other way around." He continues (from the Moyers segment), 
"Conservatives see self sufficiency as a profound moral value for individuals, Liberals are more focused on a public code of care and equity.. In analyzing any social situation you really have to understand moral psychology... When there are moral divisions within a society and no external attack, the natural tribalism of human beings can really ramp up. That's where we are now... Let's just look with open eyes at our nature... Morality makes us do things that we think are good, but it also makes us do things that are bad... It's all part of our judgmental, critical, hypercritical nature. We are all born to be hypocrites, that's part of the design."
Visit Haidt's webpage to learn more. 


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